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Old 05-10-2007, 02:52 AM   #1
ilox
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Default Six Months Later: The New HTML Working Group

from the SitePoint Tech Times #164:

---------------- begin news ----------------------

Unlike most W3C working groups, the new HTML working group's charter welcomes the scrutiny and participation of the general public. Anyone can join the working group, post to the mailing list, chime in on teleconferences, and vote on what goes into the final spec.

Better yet, there is no minimum level of participation, so if all you have time to do is monitor the mailing list and vote on issues of interest to you, that's fine too.

The working group is currently led with good humor by its co-chairs, Chris Wilson (Microsoft/Internet Explorer) and the Dan Connolly (W3C), who do their best to squeeze consensus out of the roughly 1,000 email messages per week that are posted by the working group's membership.

Also participating in the group are representatives from the Mozilla Foundation, Apple's Safari team, Opera's browser team, and familiar faces from the Web Hypertext Application Technology (WHAT) Working Group, which had undertaken the task of updating HTML on its own before the new W3C working group was created.

Officially, the group's first target is to produce a working draft of some description (even if it's just a roadmap for further development) by the end of June. This is to be the first step on the way to a finished specification by the end of the year 2010. To make this happen, the group needed one or more editors to compile and maintain the documents produced by the group.

A Surprise Proposal

Before the search could begin, however, representatives of Mozilla, Apple, and Opera came forward with a proposal to adopt the WHAT Working Group's HTML5 draft specification as a starting point for further development of HTML within the W3C.

After no small amount of discussion, the W3C's HTML WG today voted to accept the proposal, with these specific outcomes:
* The WHAT Working Group's HTML5 (Web Applications 1.0 and Web Forms 2.0) will become the current working draft, and an extensive review by the new working group will now take place.
* The final W3C specification will be named "HTML 5".
* The W3C specification will be edited by Ian Hickson (Google), editor of the WHAT-WG's HTML5, and David Hyatt (Apple/Safari).
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/...7May/0909.html

And there we have it: the harmful division that had come to exist between the major browser vendors and the W3C seems to be a thing of the past! So far so good, right?

Of course, there are still large challenges ahead, not least of which will be getting this large and open working group to agree on a seemingly endless list of technical minutiae.

-------------------- news ends --------------------

So can somebody tell me just what this breakthrough might mean for us in the short term and long term of web design?

   
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:02 AM   #2
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Default Maybe really great news...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilox View Post
from the SitePoint Tech Times #164:

---------------- begin news ----------------------
...

And there we have it: the harmful division that had come to exist between the major browser vendors and the W3C seems to be a thing of the past! So far so good, right?

Of course, there are still large challenges ahead, not least of which will be getting this large and open working group to agree on a seemingly endless list of technical minutiae.

-------------------- news ends --------------------

So can somebody tell me just what this breakthrough might mean for us in the short term and long term of web design?
Really great news in the long term, if the major browser vendors and the W3C will actually agree on a new standard and actually implement the standard, but, just as the article warns, it may be a long time before the working group can agree on a long list of details.

I am sure that there will be others in this forum who can comment on this at greater length. We can also be sure that there are millions of web sites which don't meet any standards whatever now, and won't be changed anytime soon. I suspect that it means nothing to us in the short term, though.
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:27 AM   #3
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Hi Ian,

Call me an old cynic - but I suspect it means nothing now - perhaps in a few years. An awful lot of sites are still (mis)coded using HTML4 and font tag soup many years on from XHTML - so it's a "nice to have", but probably nothing to get too excited about!

Of course, things have slowly got better: not many of us worry what our pages look like in Netscape 4.7 for instance - remember those days?

At least this time we can have our tuppence worth - but the voice of the common (wo)man is usually drowned out by standardistas arguing about how many acronyms can dance on the head of a div, for instance!
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:08 AM   #4
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Default Dial-up?

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Originally Posted by LoisWakeman View Post
...
Of course, things have slowly got better: not many of us worry what our pages look like in Netscape 4.7 for instance - remember those days? ....
We don't worry much about dial-up Internet users, either. There are certainly plenty of sites out there that are useless to the dial-up user.

There are, however, plenty of sites that only work correctly with Microsoft Internet Explorer, and some that demand MSIE and refuse to do anything with Firefox.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
There are, however, plenty of sites that only work correctly with Microsoft Internet Explorer, and some that demand MSIE and refuse to do anything with Firefox.
Pffft! Don't get me started. Or do...

A while ago I switched to a different energy provider (electricity and natural gas) - something that had only recently become possible. I switched because the new company worked exclusively via Internet and could pass the resulting lower operating costs onto their customers. Great. All went smoothly, until I had to go online to provide my meter readings. That was no problem either - the problem was that the page with the all-important invoices did not work with Firefox: it was IE6-only (using ActiveX).

After a tetchy mail to customer service I got an explanation: because they had to make sure "everyone" could use their website, they had had to choose one browser - IE6.

That's not how it works I told them in my reply: if you want to make sure everyone can use the site you have to make sure to not use a browser at all, but instead use web standards, and no proprietary techniques.

That's a short summary. After my second mail I was promised a reply within 5 working days -- which hasn't appeared in time. I'm going to switch to yet another energy provider...

   
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